By Syed Akrama:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated a campaign this Diwali called ‘Sandesh for Soldiers’. Some people saw it as a political move while others heaped praises on it. The soldiers working away from home during this festive season don’t really care about politics and for them, it is definitely a nice gesture. Everyone in this country looks at the army in a certain manner and many recognise and appreciate the sacrifices that they make. But citizens tend to forget that there are other people who sacrifice a lot too and never get the due recognition they deserve.
As soon as someone talks about the police, eyeballs start rolling because of a particular stereotype attached to them. When you all are celebrating at home with your families, it’s the police that guards your cities. They don’t get to celebrate these festivals and do not get these holidays. When a VIP travels, it’s the police personnel that have to stand on the road under the scorching heat or freezing cold, from morning to night.
My father is a police officer and I know all the sacrifices he has made. I know about police personnel and their families. I’ve spent my birthdays with the hope that somehow magically my father would appear. Parents get extra cautious during board exams of their kids. Guess what? My father was not able to stay at home because he was posted at a distant place. But he still tried his best every time to be present whenever he could. Only I know how tough it was for him. He has spent sleepless nights just so that he can accompany his kids to their first board exam and then travel back again within hours.
This is 2016. Times have changed, but I’m a kid from the 1990s. I’ve been raised in a completely different time. I belong to the Chambal region in Gwalior which used to be infamous for its notorious dacoits. My father spent a lot of time in places that people have never even heard of. Civilians don’t even set foot there. I remember the scene at my house when we could not contact him for days because he was leading a search operation inside the jungles of Chambal. Mobile and internet weren’t used extensively during those days, so you can imagine the difficulties. My family and I have spent numerous hours in front of the TV looking at news of ongoing encounters between the police and dacoits. All we could do was pray with the hope that everything would be alright. My father missed my grandmother’s funeral as he got the news very late. At that time he was posted in a distant place without proper facilities and it took him too much time to travel. He has never said a word about it.
Police officials deal with the most negative elements of society and these people are not really good at moving on. Every police official has a looming threat to his family’s security from such elements but they still continue doing their job. Isn’t it funny that the police provide security to everyone but there’s nobody to look after their families?
When a traffic constable stops you for driving without a helmet and is about to penalise, you offer him money instead. So that you can save the extra amount. You later abuse him for corruption. Don’t you see the irony in this? You are the one trying to save yourself and are responsible for spreading corruption. Police officials are paid much less compared to many other professions. Yet, they work for very long hours.
All those who constantly abuse the police probably won’t last a day wearing the police’s boots and doing their job. This Diwali, many kids were glad to have their parents celebrate with them. There were people protecting the country while everyone was celebrating. Do not view everyone with the same eyes and don’t judge people about whom you don’t know anything. Respect those who work honestly and put their work ahead of everything else.